Great article! I graduated this past spring (with a degree in English as well) and I simply needed a job that paid so I applied to all the bookstores in my area (figured, hey, if I’m gonna work in retail might as well be surrounded with stuff I love!) and I got hired. I’m still working at this bookstore and I completely relate to some of your experiences (rude people, embarrassment, ect) while working at the restaurant. But hey, I’m paying bills, working full time, and doing what I really love at night (writing and reading). And I’m aggressively applying for jobs.
I recently got frustrated because I was rejected to an entry level position in publishing that I felt very qualified for. I’m so glad I read your article because it put things back into perspective…no one is entitled to any job, especially not inexperienced folks who haven’t paid their dues yet. Thanks for reminding me that my working in retail for a year after college (though it may feel embarrassing) certainly isn’t a terrible place to be.